India's top passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki has started some production at its strike-hit plant in Manesar by hiring contract workers. It is also likely to start production at its second assembly line there in the next few days, almost a month ahead of its planned commissioning.
"We are working towards commissioning the new plant. We are hopeful that we will be able to get the plant up and running within this week," a company spokesperson told CNBC-TV18.
The new plant, which was earlier planned for commissioning by end-September, is highly automated and so will require less staff than required at the first plant, he said.
Maruti Suzuki has hired around 300 professionals on a contract basis who will work in the existing as well as the new plant. However, it has only managed to roll out around 160 vehicles in the last two days till Thursday, compared to around 1,200 units on a normal day.
Production at Manesar came to a halt on Monday after the company suspended 21 employees on charges of sabotaging operations and deliberately causing quality problems in the vehicles manufactured at the plant. It suspended another 16 workers on Tuesday.
The problems for the company may be compounded over the weekend, with some 12 worker unions in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Daruhera region of Haryana, not far from Delhi lending support to the strike that was triggered by a directive asking workers to sign a 'good conduct bond'.